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J Basic Microbiol. 2011 Jun;51(3):253-62. doi: 10.1002/jobm.201000321. Epub 2011 Feb 7.

The paf gene product modulates asexual development in Penicillium chrysogenum.

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Biocenter, Division of Molecular Biology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.


Penicillium chrysogenum secretes a low molecular weight, cationic and cysteine-rich protein (PAF). It has growth inhibitory activity against the model organism Aspergillus nidulans and numerous zoo- and phytopathogenic fungi but shows only minimal conditional antifungal activity against the producing organism itself. In this study we provide evidence for an additional function of PAF which is distinct from the antifungal activity against putative ecologically concurrent microorganisms. Our data indicate that PAF enhances conidiation in P. chrysogenum by modulating the expression of brlA, the central regulatory gene for mitospore development. A paf deletion strain showed a significant impairment of mitospore formation which sustains our hypothesis that PAF plays an important role in balancing asexual differentiation in P. chrysogenum.

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